Dyslexia can be very isolating – but it can be overcome

Sir Richard Branson at the Hayling Kitesurfing Armada  he is famously dyslexic
Sir Richard Branson at the Hayling Kitesurfing Armada  he is famously dyslexic

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FROM my time, I distinctly remember those children at school who really struggled with reading.

We were always being asked to read and it was embarrassing listening to those kids who misread words and found reading such a struggle.

I would like to say, we were charitable, but we weren’t.

Most of us – at worst – laughed and sniggered – at best.

The irony was that many of these kids were smarter than me.

They had the ability to pass exams, even if their spelling and grammar was atrocious.

I remember someone saying these kids ‘had dyslexia’ and I hoped I would not catch it.

Later on, I discovered dyslexia was not a disease; it is a learning difficulty. Note: not a learning disability.

It’s a specific learning difficulty which means it causes problems with certain abilities used for learning, such as reading and writing.

But unlike a learning disability, intelligence isn’t affected.

There are many brilliant people who find a way to overcome dyslexia.

According to NHS choices It’s estimated that up to one in every 10 to 20 people in the UK has some degree of dyslexia.

Dyslexia is lifelong problem that can present challenges on a daily basis, but support is available to improve reading and writing skills and help those with the problem be successful at school and work.

One of the problems with such a learning difficulty is that is can be very isolating and we can be fooled to believing it is just us.

Here are some of the well-known people who have dyslexia: Orlando Bloom, Richard Branson, Erin Brockovich, Tom Cruise,Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, Paloma Faith, Pablo Picasso, Guy Ritchie, Bryan Singer, Steven Spielberg, Jackie Stewart and Holly Willoughby.

Fortunately there are great organisations that can help – such as wecanreadgosportfareham.co.uk and dyslexia.uk.net.

These organisations have been set up to give you the support you may not have had at school or in work.

They are there to give you the confidence and skills to fulfil your potential.

Dyslexia is not a disease, it is a learning disability and it can be overcome.

I like this quote from a fellow dyslexic, Leonardo Da Vinci, ‘Your brain is much better than you think; just use it!

‘Then you’ll be the one having the last laugh!’